I have been attending a conflict transformation workshop for the past few days and one of the interesting stuff I came across was the use of animal characteristics to illustrate our conflict styles (adapted from Hope and Timmel II, 1995). As I mulled over these I discovered that I am probably a cross breed of lion and turtle. Although at times (like a lion) I tend to dig in and fight whenever others disagree with my opinions (though I must add I am also ready to concede defeat when clearly defeated), at times I do behave like a tortoise and withdraw from a group or refuse to participate in efforts aimed at discussions. This is especially if I feel the other parties are unreasonable or strongly opinionated as not to have an open mind.
Anyway, here are the different conflict styles I learned, where do you fall?
Donkey: Very stubborn, and refuses to change his or her point of view. I have a few friends (and a relative or two here) but I generally avoid such people
Elephant: Blocks the way, and stubbornly prevents the group from continuing along the road they desire to go
Lion: Gets in and fights whenever others disagree with his or her plans, or interferes with his or her desires. I am thinking about Imani, my second 2 year old daughter and especially how she deals with Tamia, her 6 year older sister
Rabbit: Runs away as soon as he or she senses tension, conflict, or any unpleasant job. This may mean switching quickly to another topic
Ostrich: Buries his or her head in the the sand and refuses to face reality or admit there is any problem at all. For some reasons this reminds me of our president
Turtle: Withdraws from the group,refusing to give ideas or opinions. I find this very useful when dealing with a group of donkeys or elephants!
Chameleon: Changes colour according to the people he or she is with. Will say one thing to this group and something else to another. Very common with Kenyan politicians!
Owl: Looks very solemn and pretends to be very wise, always talking in long words and complicated sentences
Mouse: Too timid to speak up on any subject
Monkey: Fools around, chatters, and prevents the group from concentrating on serious business
PS: Pictures are sourced from Google images